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Full text of "NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) 19690000490: Thermally conducting electron transfer polymers"

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October 1969 

Brief 69- 105 11 


NASA Tech Briefs are issued to summarize specific innovations derived from the U.S. space program, 
to encourage their commercial application. Copies are available to the public at 15 cents each 
from the Clearinghouse for Federal Scientific and Technical Information, Springfield, Virginia 22151. 

Thermally Conducting Electron Transfer Polymers 

The problem: 

Recent developments in electronic circuitry, such as 
subminiaturization of components and modular con- 
struction of circuits, have generated serious problems 
in the areas of environmental protection, mechanical 
shock, radiation, and temperature. Certain potting 
compounds have afforded good mechanical shock and 
radiation protection but have acted as thermal insu- 
lators due to poor heat conductivity. This has resulted 
in degraded performance and in catastrophic failure 
in some instances. 

The solution: 

New polymeric materials that exhibit excellent 
physical shock protection, high electrical resistance, 
and outstanding thermal conductivity. They may be 
classed as substituted quinhydrone polymers in which 
any difunctional compound, having as its functional 
group an amine, a halogen, a mercaptan group, a hy- 
droxyl, a carbonyl, and compounds having an active 
hydrogen atom, among others, reacts with a quinone. 

How it’s done: 

An exemplary general compound found to yield the 
above-cited benefits is: 

R 1 , R 2 , R 3 , R 4 may all be hydrogen or may be vari- 
ous substituents such as halides, methoxy, secondary 
amines, alkyl, alkene, aromatic rings, heterocyclic 
rings either singly-bonded or fused to the quinone 
ring, among other compounds. The second reaction 
intermediate may be compounds containing a labile 
hydrogen such as N,N ^ -dimethyl- 1, 6-hexanediamine, 
1, 8-octanediamine, piperazine, dithiols, diacidhalides, 
diol (aliphatic, heterocyclic or aromatic), in addition 
to silanes, silanediols, silane dihalides, phosphines, 
phosphorus halides, and other reactive difunctional 

These polymers are formed by substitution of the 
reactive ring substituent by the amine groups. In 
some cases the quinone is reduced to the hydro- 
quinone and may be reoxidized by using an excess of 
the initial quinone compound through the formation 
of strong charge transfer complexes. 

Wherein most organic polymers have a thermal 
conductivity in the range of 2-4 x 10~ 4 cal/cm- 
sec- °C, this new class of polymers is found to have 
a thermal conductivity in the range of 1.5 -3 x 10 " 3 
cal/sec-°C. Furthermore, where many charge-transfer 
polymers have electrical resistivities in the order of 
10 5 - 10 7 ohm cm, the above-mentioned polymers 
have a resistivity of 10 l0 - 10 12 ohm cm. 


No further documentation is available. Inquiries 
may be directed to: 

Technology Utilization Officer 
Goddard Space Flight Center 
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771 
Reference: B69- 105 1 1 

(continued overleaf) 

This document was prepared under the sponsorship of the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration. Neither the United States 
Government nor any person acting on behalf of the United States 

Government assumes any liability resulting from the use of the 
information contained in this document, or warrants that such use 
will be free from privately owned rights. 

Patent status: 

Inquiries about obtaining rights for the commercial 
use of this invention may be made to NASA, Code 
GP, Washington, D.C. 20546. 

Source: Robert K. Jenkins, Norman R. Byrd, 
and James L. Lister of 
McDonnell Douglas Corporation 
under contract to 
Goddard Space Flight Center 
(GSC- 10703) 

Brief 69-10511 

Category 03